Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Study of the hondô (kyakuden, hôjô) of Rinzai Zen Sect Buddhist Temples in Kyôto, in the Early Modern Age (1) Typical Reconstruction Plans


In the early part of the modern age, during Keichô 1 (1596)~Enpô 9 (1681) the number of Rinzai zen sect tacchûs (memorial cloisters) in Kyôto increased. The sanctuary and veranda of several memorial cloisters were reformed. For example, the front side remodeled to accommodate placement of the carved statue of the cloister founder. In such case, the rear of the sanctuary expanded out, the front side extended out, and the composition of innermost sanctuary was also changed. Other changes are also seen, for example, the floors of veranda surrounding the building changed from wooden floor boards to tatami mats.
On the basis of reconstruction, this study will attempt to clarify the development and changes in the typical plans of memorial cloisters, during the early part of modern age. This study was based on material collected in Kyôtofu no kinsei shaji kenchiku kinkyû chôsa hôkokusho (Surveyed reports of the modern ages temples and shrines in Kyôto prefecture), Jûyô bunkazai shuri kôji hôkokusho (Repairing and reconstruction reports of the important cultural properties), Tôfuku-ji mishitei shuyô kenzôbutsu chôsa hôkokusho (Surveyed reports of Tôfuku-ji memorial cliosters, as designated by the Ministry of Education), other historical records and field research. From these reference more than 38 temples of the early modern age built around Keichô 1 (1596)~Enpô 9 (1681) were selected. From these, it is possible to deduce the reasons for change and trace the development of plans.
Based on reconstruction plans of several memorial cloisters that were built in the early part of the modern age, it is clear that the basic composition of sanctuaries in the early modern age were similar to the late medieval age sanctuary. The composition of the innermost sanctuary consists of shinzen (front of the Buddhist altar), butsudan (Buddhist altar) and minzô (sleeping chamber). Later, the composition changed to accommodate placement of the carved statue of the cloister founder and the ihaidan (the altar to lay the ancestral tablets of the parishioners) set. The preference for a reformed sanctuary increased greatly from the early modern age, around Keichô 1 (1596) up to the mid-early modern age, around Syôhô 5 (1648). Therefore, all memorial cloisters which had been built in the late medieval and early modern ages were reformed at the sanctuary in accordance with the preferences of their contemporaries.
Changes and development of the veranda of some memorial cloisters were also carried out in the early modern age. The employment of a 1 ken wide-veranda that was placed on the left and right sides rather than at the rear of the building appeared from the early modern age. With remodeling in the mid-modern age, the width of that veranda became 1.5 ken. Furthermore, most of the saya no ma were remnants of the wide-veranda. The original floor of wooden boards was changed later to tatami mats. The reason for the change was to have the veranda function as a rest room during religious services. Based on the arrangement of veranda, it is evident that the wide-veranda that was placed at left or right sides of the building is related to the genkan (main entrance) and the kuri (temple kitchen). This veranda has a specific circulation function.

Antariksa and Susumu Hyuga, 1995, Study of the hondô (kyakuden, hôjô) of Rinzai Zen Sect Buddhist Temples in Kyôto, in the Early Modern Age (1) –Typical Reconstruction Plans–. Memoirs of the Faculty of Engineering and Design Kyôto Institute of Technology, Vol. 43 (March). pp. 121-140. (in Japanese).